On November 13th, Joan Wade, Executive Director of AESA, received the
from the Cooperative Network of Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The Cooperative Builder Award is the highest tribute bestowed on individual cooperators or friends of cooperatives by Cooperative Network. Through this award, Cooperative Network recognizes select men and women for their contributions, loyalty, and service to the cooperative movement at the local, state regional, or national level.
The following statement was read about Joan at the 2018 Cooperative Builder Awards Banquet.
“Joan is truly a leader that loves what she does and whose passion empowers others to thrive throughout an organization. She has contributed significantly to the high quality of public education in the state of Wisconsin and to the high quality of cooperative educational service agencies.
To those who know Dr. Joan Wade, it should come as no surprise that she is being recognized for her 20+ years of dedicated service, advocacy, collaboration, and leadership with and for educational cooperatives. Currently the Executive Director of the Association of Educational Service Agencies, Joan has embodied the principals of cooperatives as she’s forged partnerships, advanced innovative ideas, shaped policy, and affected change for public education, for rural communities, and for educational cooperatives.
Joan’s first involvement with educational cooperatives began early in her career as an educator when she initiated a collaborative endeavor to create a distance learning network between three area school districts through CESA 5. The South Central Instructional Network Group was the result of this cooperative effort, which eventfully grew to include 18 school districts and kick-started Dr. Wade’s two-decade career as a leader for educational cooperatives.
Fast forward to present day, she is known for her “five bold steps” to redesign the association and her continued commitment to strengthening and increasing participation in educational cooperatives."